New Brunswick Craft Brewers Association

Brewing => Experiments => Topic started by: brew on July 11, 2013, 08:25:08 PM

Title: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: brew on July 11, 2013, 08:25:08 PM
My first lager attempt, thought I'd try a few different yeasts for comparison. Doing a 10G batch (plus an extra couple of liters). Splitting between 3 kegs using blow off tubes to a bucket. Fermenting in my Keezer at 9-11C (my temp controller comes on at 11 and turns off at 9). There is about 3.5G in each keg.

Starters: both the 2124 and the 840 have 3L starters. I'm using 2 sachets of S-23.
OG was 1.052. Will pitch at 9C.

Recipe: Stella Clone
Style: Classic American Pilsner
Batch Size (fermenter): 38.00 l
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
OG / FG / ABV / Ratio: 1.052 SG / 1.013 SG / 5.1 % / 0.596
Color / IBU: 4.1 SRM / 30.8 IBUs

Grains: Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
10 lbs                Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         1        50.0 %       
8 lbs                 Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)         Grain         2        40.0 %       
2 lbs                 Rice, Flaked (1.0 SRM)                   Grain         3        10.0 %       

Boil: Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
1.50 oz               Aurora [8.25 %] - Boil 60.0 min          Hop           4        23.4 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Crystal [3.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min         Hop           5        5.1 IBUs     
2.00 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        6        -             
1.00 oz               Crystal [3.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min         Hop           7        2.4 IBUs     

Ferment: Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2.0 pkg               SafLager West European Lager (DCL/Fermen Yeast         8        -             
1.0 pkg               American Lager Yeast (White Labs #WLP840 Yeast         9        -             
1.0 pkg               Bohemian Lager (Wyeast Labs #2124) [124. Yeast         10       -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, 146F Two Sparges
Title: Re: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: brew on July 26, 2013, 02:49:15 PM
July 18 SG of S-23 and the 840 batch was just below 1.020 and the 2124 was just above 1.020. Unplugged the fermentation vessel (deep freeze with temp controller) for a diacetyl rest.

July 21 plugged it back in to bring temp back down to 10C. Racked to a secondary to prepare for lagering.
FG of the 840 and 2124 was 1.004 and the S-23 was 1.002. Did the measurement with the refractometer so the actual might be a bit higher than that. Still, that low mash temp really dried it out (145F). Turned the temp controller down to 0C so lagering will be done between 0 and 2C.
Title: Re: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: Chris Craig on July 26, 2013, 03:11:54 PM
These will be interesting to try.
Title: Re: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: brew on August 28, 2013, 01:19:03 PM
So I started lagering with CO2 hooked up - I read this should not be a problem, lagering at 10psi...

So the taste of the S-23 version was a bit "pissy" from the start, but it did get better after 3 weeks lagering. The 2124 was getting nice, had an interesting almost Kolsch type character to it (but not Kolsch - hard to describe), but the hops really came through and added some bitter fuzzyness (I think its the Crystal at 30). Likely that would tone down after some more lagering? The 840 was getting very clean - and only after 3 weeks lagering. More time and I think this along with the 2124 will be very good. The S-23 is bad enough to call yuky.

As luck would have it, my temp controller fell off the side of the deep freeze about just under 4 weeks after lagering started. The temp probe came out of the deep freeze, sending it to a chili -16C. I caught it the day after, not completely frozen, but enough that it would not pour. Opened up the deep freeze and unplugged it to thaw... I did open up the S-23 keg to check for ice which let a lot of the pressure escape and made the beer flat very quickly after putting the top back on. After about 3 days coming back up to temp and unfreezing, I turned the deep freeze back on and closed the door. I'm told that it can be a good idea to add more yeast after freezing as much of the yeast will not revive after freezing. Unfortunately I don't have any more 2124 or 840, and the S-23 I don't really want to "save".

So, now that these are kegged, the 2124 batch seems to have an off flavor of some kind - diacetyl maybe, plus something else. I can't help thinking that maybe the lagering process getting interrupted with a freezing / warming event has caused me an issue. It doesn't seem infected, just that the yeast did something and didn't clean up as it should. A variety of folks have tried it, but didn't seem to know what it was. The 840 is now still cleaner than the 2124, but not as clean as it was before the freezing incident. I really do wonder if raising the temp before lagering if finished encouraged something weird. The S-23 is the same - yuky.
Title: Re: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: brew on September 10, 2013, 09:00:52 PM
So a few weeks later now and the 2124 is more subdued and has a nice character to it. Wish I could describe it, but its something I'd make again for sure. The 840 is now completely and utterly devoid of flavor. I didn't think it possible to make a beer with even less flavor than coors light but I think I've done it. This is the BMC beer I've always wondered if I could reproduce for friends who dont like craft. I thought I had enough hops (25+ ibu) for there to be something there but nope. The S-23 is not as bad as it was but its still got a yuky character to it I dont like, not pissy exactly but well... pissy.

Next year I might try more malt in an 840 batch for summertime... lager equiv to a light summer ale...
Title: Re: Light Lager 2124, WLP840 and S-23
Post by: fakr on September 10, 2013, 11:25:05 PM
Great Diary Brew.  Thanks for sharing that!